Published 03/20/2020 | Reading Time 4 min 53 sec
By BWSTimes Staff
TULSA, Okla. — Vehicles filled the parking lot at 36 Street North Event Center an hour before for the Free Drive-Through Lunch event began, sponsored by the Terence Crutcher Foundation, 36th Street North Event Center, Northside United Coalition of Clergy, and Tulsa District One City Councilor.
The Foundation, along with the other community organizations and its volunteers, gave northside residents healthy meals, as well as vital literature on the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) that’s rapidly spreading across Green Country.
Among the benevolent or North Tulsa’s doers of good deeds, District 1 City Councilor Vanessa Hall-Harper and the Terence Crutcher Foundation’s executive director, Dr. Tiffany Crutcher.
“We have to stay educated on this virus — how it passes from one person to another. We have to be vigilant. Everyone should act as if they have it, and as if they are not trying to spread [COVID-19],” Hall-Harper said, adding, “We have to be hopeful — for me and more Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, but at the same time, intelligent. We can’t do things as some churches have.”
The councilor noted that a church in Alabama exposed thousands of its congregants to the highly contagious virus after one of its members, who unbeknownst at the time, tested positive for COVID-19 later in the week.Dr. Curtcher said she was delighted to see local residents walking from Comanche Park Apartments, many who don’t have access to the internet and may not be up to date on the status of the growing pandemic in the region.
“There are many who don’t have access to the internet or social media. They may not know how severe it is. So we’re educating the community by putting information sheets in the sack lunches as well. We thought that was vitally important,” Dr. Crutcher said.
The Center for Disease Control says that the COVID-19 is likely spread through those who contract the virus and are asymptomatic, meaning people who show no symptoms of the virus.
People who contract the coronavirus may experience symptoms as early as two days from when the first contract it or as many as 14 days or even longer. Common symptoms of the virus are fever, cough and shortness of breath. However, there have been reports of body aches, chills and even diarrhea. There is currently no vaccine to prevent people from contracting the virus.
If you’re asymptomatic, you may be a carrier and not even know that you’re putting others at risk — hence, the highly-encouraged social distancing advised by Tulsa Mayor G.T. Bynum and other leaders across the state and nation.
The only way to identify that you’ve been infected by the virus is by taking the test. However, due to nationwide shortages of COVID-19 testing kits, only those showing severe symptoms of the virus, and are considered high risk (over 60 or have an underlying health condition) are being permitted to take the test in Oklahoma.
Yet, local leaders are still remaining hopeful that Tulsans will get through this globally trying time if community members stick together.
“We are stronger together, and we believe that this will pass if we all simply do our part. That means staying at home and protecting the elderly and these babies and making sure that we spread that same message [on the importance of social distancing] to everyone. The quicker we do that, the quicker we do our part, the quicker this will all pass over. But in the meantime, I remain hopeful. We live in the best country in the world, and I do know that we’re going to figure this out,” Dr. Tiffany Crutcher said.
The Tulsa Dream Center delivered 1,373 groceries to Tulsa families today. Hundreds of grocery baskets aligned the sidewalk as volunteers directed traffic into the center’s parking lot. Each family received two bags of groceries: one filled with produce and the other with dry goods. Many of those families traveling to 36th Street North Event center for their free lunches.
Pastor and Tulsa Dream Center director, Tim Newton said that next Tuesday, the Tulsa Dream Center plans to serve breakfast (8:30 – 9 AM), lunch ( 11:30 – 1 PM) and dinner (4 – 5:30 PM) for kids, and even adults who may need a meal.
Between the Tulsa Dream Center and the 36 Street North Event Center, over a thousand Tulsa families received free meals, life-saving information about COVID-19 and groceries making today a positive day of giving.